Saturday, December 10, 2016

Grilled Goat Cheese Mini-Sandwiches, December 6, 2016

The other night, we had a salad and sandwich supper. But what a salad! And what sandwiches! I made mini-sandwiches by putting goat cheese and apple butter on baguette slices, then cooking them like you do a regular grilled cheese sandwich. They were terrific! The salad was endive, separated and arranged on a salad plate with some roquefort, pear slices, and walnuts. I topped the salad with a dressing made of 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar, 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard, a pinch of salt, a good grinding of pepper, and 1/2 c. olive oil, whisked until it emulsified. To make the meal more hearty, I added a side of Yukon Gold potatoes fried in olive oil with oregano, salt, & pepper.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Chicken Cacciatore, December 3, 2016

Saturday night, we had Italian in, with a rib-sticking chicken cacciatore over crisp polenta, with sautéed garlicky kale (just cook chopped kale in a bit of hot olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes until it's wilted and tender) and Pugliese bread. I started with a Martha Stewart recipe, which I'm sure is quite lovely, if you like dark meat and the bones don't wig you out. It's certainly much more traditional! However, my wife and I like breast meat and bones wig me out these days. So, here's my wuss version:

Chicken Cacciatore over Crisp Polenta
1-2 tbsp. olive oil (plus extra for polenta)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
Salt & pepper
A handful of crimini mushrooms, halved (you can use any mushrooms, really)
1/4 c. flour
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 onions, cut into wedges (I would dice next time, though)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
A big handful of green olives, halved
1 tube of polenta, sliced

Heat oil in a big pot. Season the chicken with salt & pepper. Sauté until lightly browned. Remove to a plate. In the same pot, brown the mushrooms. Add flour and stir in well. Cook about a minute. Add tomatoes, wine, garlic, olives. Return chicken to pot. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on medium heat 15-20 minutes, until cooked through. Adjust seasoning. While stew is cooking, preheat broiler. Brush polenta lightly on each side with olive oil & place on a baking sheet. Salt & pepper. Broil until deep golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Serve stew over polenta. Serves 4.